This year everyone seems to be talking about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (ACV) for dogs. Below are ten common claims about ACV:
- Eases the pain of arthritis
- Improves digestion
- Clears up urinary tract infections
- Gives a shiny coat
- Kills bacterial and fungal skin infections (good for hot spots and itchy skin)
- Cures dandruff
- Is a natural flea, tick and insect repellent
- Neutralises dog odours
- Softens calluses
- Boosts the immune system
It sounds like a miracle cure so we decided to see what apple cider vinegar could do for a mild fungal infection (Leia) and dry and flaky skin during shedding (Gemma). Since June we have been adding a teaspoon of unpasteurized ACV to their food twice daily and in addition to using ACV as a dietary supplement we have also used it diluted as a rinse after bathing.
Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar from House of Hafi in Sweden.
Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar from Bragg.
After four months, Leia’s coat has less pink discolouration from licking and her skin seems to be in overall better condition (more calm, less red). It also seems to be working for Gemma, as her dry skin is gone and the new coat that is coming in looks shiny and healthy. We are happy with the results and if we don’t see any negative side-effects we may continue using apple cider vinegar as a regular supplement. The flavour is quite strong but our girls don’t seem to mind, and compared to the medicated dog shampoos you can buy at the vet’s, ACV is a completely natural product and is relatively inexpensive too.
Always consult a vet
Before trying natural remedies to treat skin disorders, you should always consult your veterinarian. If you want to do your own research, the website WebMD has an excellent slideshow where you can see images of some of the most common canine skin problems. For more info about the possible health benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs, I recommend the following pages: